Marcelo Chierighini is a Brazilian freestyle specialist, Olympian and World Championship medalist.
Chierighini chose to move from Brazil to Alabama to train under Brett Hawke in Auburn’s prestigious sprint program.
The Brazilian made an immediate impact for the Tigers, picking up five All-American honors during his freshman campaign. At his first NCAA Championships he helped Auburn to silver medals in the 4×100 and 4×200 yard freestyle relays and a bronze in the 4×100 yard medley relay. He added an 8th place finish in the 100 yard freestyle and 13th in the 50 yard freestyle.
In his sophomore season Chierighini’s four SEC titles helped Auburn to its 16th straight SEC Championship. At the NCAA meet he was again on the 4×100 and 4×200 yard freestyle relays that finished runner-up. He also finished with a silver in his individual 100 yard freestyle after posting a 42.34. His other top-three finish came in the 4×50 yard medley relay where Chierighini swam the butterfly leg. He concluded his six All-American honors with a 15th place finish in the 50 yard freestyle and 5th in the 4×100 yard medley relay.
Chierighini won his first NCAA title in 2013 as a member of the 4×50 yard freestyle relay where he lead off with a split of 18.99. In his individual events, Chierighini added silver medals in the 50 and 100 yard freestyle. He added other All-American honors in the 4×50 and 4×100 yard medley relay and the 4×100 yard freestyle relay.
In his final season as a Tiger Chierighini became a national champion again, this time in the 4×100 yard freestyle relay and for the third-straight year finished runner-up in the 100 yard freestyle. He also swam in the 50 yard freestyle finishing 10th and the 100 yard butterfly finishing 31st. He finished his collegiate career with a total 22 All-American honors to tie for second-most in Auburn history.
Chierighini made his international debut for Brazil in 2010 at the World Short Course Championships in Dubai. A year later he was at the World Championships in Shanghai where he anchored the Brazilian 4×100 meter freestyle relay that finished 9th.
2012 Olympics (London, England)
In his Olympic debut in London, Chierighini narrowly missed out on a place in the final in the 4×100 meter freestyle relay. He split 48.17 to help Brazil finish 9th.
2013 World Championships (Barcelona, Spain)
In his second World Championship appearance, Chierighini made it to the final in the 100 meter freestyle finishing 6th in 48.28 and made it to the semi-finals in the 50 meter freestyle finishing 10th in 21.84. In his relay swims, Chierighini helped Brazil to 7th place in the 4×100 meter freestyle relay and 12th in the 4×100 medley relay.
2015 World Championships (Kazan, Russia)
Chierighini finished 4th as a member of the 4×100 meter freestyle relay and 5th in the 100 meter freestyle.
2016 Olympics (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)
Chierighini made three finals at the Olympics in front of his home crowd. In the 100 meter freestyle he finished 8th in 48.41. His best finishes came in the relays where he helped Brazil to 5th place in the 4×100 meter freestyle relay and 6th in the 4×100 meter medley relay.
2017 World Championships (Budapest, Hungary)
Chierighini won a silver medal on the opening night in Budapest in the 4×100 meter freestyle relay. The silver medal was the highest placing Brazil has ever got in that event at the World Championships. Chierighini had the fastest split of the whole field with a 46.85, the only swimmer to go sub 47. He joined with Gabriel Santos, Cesar Cielo and Bruno Fratus to combine in 3:10.34, just behind Team USA.
He also added a pair of 5th place finishes in the 4×100 meter medley relay where he was the anchor and the 100 meter freestyle where he tied for 5th in 48.11.
2018 Pan Pacific Championships (Tokyo, Japan)
On day 2, Marcelo swam the 100 free, making it to the final and finishing just outside the medals in 4th place (48.36) at night. On day 3, he went 2nd on the 4×100 free relay (47.62) in which Brazil finished 2nd, but ultimately earned gold after the winning USA was DQ’ed for swimming in the wrong order.
2018 Short Course World Championships (Hangzhou, China)
In Hangzhou, Marcelo earned a bronze medal as a part of the Brazilian 4×100 free relay.
2019 World Championships (Gwangju, South Korea)
Chierighini swam the 50 and 100 free individually at the 2019 World Champs. Qualifying in 3rd through prelims and semi-finals with times of 47.95 and 47.76, Chierighini touched at 47.93 in finals, netting him 5th place in the 100 free. He finished 16th in the 50 free (22.19).
He also helped Brazil’s 4×100 free (48.10, lead off) and medley (47.57, anchor) relays to 6th place finishes. While this didn’t earn Brazil medals, it did qualify both relays for the 2020 Olympics.
2019 Pan American Games (Lima, Peru)
In Lima, Chierighini bounced back with his 1st international individual gold, winning the 100 free in 48.09 ahead of Americans Nathan Adrian and Michael Chadwick. He also won gold as a part of the 4×100 free relay (47.45, 2nd) and helped Brazil to silver medals in the 4×100 medley relay (47.29, anchor) and mixed 4×100 free relay (47.61).